By Bom

Flying Machines

Three flying machines for you today, the first is my main of a dragonfly. The other two flying machines are two fighter jets practicing in the area as in my Extra. A nice catch up with my friend L this morning and I finished the book I was reading in the garden this afternoon.

Day 455 / Day 29 of Step 3 of Roadmap Easing (for my record only)
As expected and as is sensible, Step 4 of Roadmap easing is being delayed by 4 weeks to 19th July as we're not meeting all 4 tests set. This will enable millions more vaccine doses to be delivered, 66% of the adult population to be fully vaccinated (currently 56.9%) and all adults should have been offered their first jab. 2nd jabs for over 40s are also to be accelerated. The exceptions is weddings which can go ahead with 30+ people from 21st June provided social distancing is in place. 

PHE data today says that 1 vaccine dose reduces the likelihood of getting the virus by an estimated 26-40%, whereas 2 doses reduces it by est 76-84%. Hospitalisation is reduced by an estimated 57-85% after 1 jab and by est 85-98% after 2 jabs. From 16th May to 12th June, 71% of hospitalisations were in under 65s and 29% in over 65s - the effect of the vaccine is clear. The delta variant is now 96% of all cases. Cases are starting from a low base, but with exponential weekly rise of 64% in England (if this weekly rise continued, the 7.742 new cases today would rise to 56,000 new cases on 19th July!). Hospitalisations are also rising, by 61% in the last week in the NW, Eng is lower at 50% but is catching up.

My view is that it was right to delay by 4 weeks, but we could well by then have a huge wave of cases which risks more variants developing. I would not have removed the need for mask wearing in senior schools a month ago, I would encourage more to do the twice a week lateral flow tests and I would not call the 19th July Freedom Day - terrible messaging as it implies we're 'back to normal'. I'd have stressed the point that this is still a dangerous virus and will continue to be so, but we have a degree of protection from the virus and that people must manage their own risk and we will provide them with the info to enable that decision making. And I'm still not convinced that T&T is as effective as it needs to be. Saying it's irreversible is just silly, in a war you have to change your successful tactics if the enemy successfully changes theirs as in a potential new variant which is more transmissible and more likely to kill you and which evades the current vaccines. The only info I've seen is that c75% of adults need to be fully jabbed to achieve herd immunity, which presumably will be higher with the more transmissible delta variant. 

Excellent trial results from Novavax which was found to be 100% effective against moderate and severe disease. Also it's 93% effective against circulating variants of concern and 91% effective in protective high risk populations. Pending approval, the UK has ordered 60m doses.  

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